I had a much longer post here, but decided it would be better for my personal blog. So if you want to hear more about my trip, check out my post at The Dalton Gang! To make this a little more "educational" and share about Puerto Rico in a more unique way, here are a few things I learned:
First, I learned that the mountains and beaches are VERY close to one another. We could see the mountains from the airport, but our drive to the beach condo was only 5 minutes away (and most of that was going right along the beach).
From El Morro Castle, you can see the mountains in the distance.
I learned that iguanas and lizards are very cool and can be found all over the island! We almost hit one while driving one day, and this one found us on our tour of El Morro Castle. He even posed for us!
I learned that El Yunque National Rainforest is the only rainforest official listed for the United States. I also learned that it is 3,000 feet to the top! We didn't go that far, but we did hike 30 minutes to reach La Mina Falls.
I learned that the sun sets by 7:30 in the summer, so daylight hours are much shorter. Obviously this is because it's so close to the equator where Earth is wider, but it caught me off guard. I was used to the sun not setting until almost 9 at home. Yay for applying things I teach to my actual life!
I learned that Puerto Rico and Cuba were the last Spanish islands in the Caribbean, and we took over PR in 1898. Also, Cuba doesn't like them for two reasons:
- The Cuban flag and PR flag are very similar, and the Cubans feel like they copied.
- When the US took over PR, the Cubans felt like it was so we could spy on them.
Left flag is the old Spanish War flag, middle is Puerto Rican, and right is United States
I learned that Isla Verde, the resort area where we stayed in San Juan, is protected by coral reefs (which makes for a much calmer beach)...
...but you can travel just down the road to Luquillo (I think) on the way to Fajardo and get some pretty intense waves (although I hear the best are in Rincon, PR)! Along with that, I learned that the sand there was almost like clay...much more red.
I learned that seafood isn't actually a common food in Puerto Rico, at least not for San Juan. Not such a big deal for me since I don't eat it, but Steven was bummed.
I learned that driving is PR is very dangerous. Stop signs, turn signals, turn lanes...it doesn't matter. Just drive however you want and completely ignore the rules of the road. Unless you get to a light. They do obey stop lights.
I learned that Steven had a much better education when it comes to Spanish than I did. I could figure out a few things (like PARE meant STOP - not like it mattered), but he was much better.
Finally, I learned that a week away from my little boy is very hard. I was very happy to see his smile when he came to pick us up at the airport Saturday night!